1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
I’m an almost native of Charlotte (moved from Minnesota when I was 5) and proud Appalachian State graduate. Married my husband, Ed 7 years ago and we have two children, Olivia (5) and Teddy (3).
2. What prompted you to start Sweets Syrup?
It all just kinda happened! I am a member of the Facebook group, MICIT and moms started selling things that they made. I had been making elderberry syrup for a few years and thought maybe a handful of moms might want to buy – my first post generated 130 customers and it all took off from there with word of mouth referrals
3. How did you decide on the name/brand of your business?
My daughter’s nickname is Sweet and she has been obsessed with my syrup since she was 12 months old – plus the syrup is sweet!
4. Tell us more about your product/business and your role:
Elderberry syrup is a super immune booster and effective natural remedy for coughs, colds, the flu and seasonal allergies. We take a swig daily to prevent getting sick (it really works and is delish!) and if you start feeling like you’re coming down with something start taking every 3-4 hours. I do it all and have some wonderful help supporting me!
5. Do you have a storefront or do you work from home?
I work from home and have chefs that make syrup for me in their commercial kitchen.
6. What does a normal “work” day look like for you?
Lots of running around! My kids wake me up early – I check emails and make their lunches/get ready, take to school and then many times I catch a yoga class. Then I follow up on calls/emails and start tackling the to-do list. I get a lot done during those short preschool hours!
7. How do you handle work + kids? (what is your schedule? do you have childcare?)
I get a TON done during preschool hours and once a week I have a babysitter come for a few hours. I try hard to be present and in the moment with both work stuff and my family or else I get quickly distracted and off track – my favorite mantra is “be here now” which I say in my head all day long. It’s definitely a difficult balance and I’m constantly wishing my kids both still took naps! I also read a lot from health blogs and health professionals from rajagiri hospital give me health tips to balance my work and personal life.
8. How do you balance all of the roles that you have?
I know that I can’t do it all and have started outsourcing roles that aren’t my strongest – I recently hired a business consultant to help me get systems in place and organized to be more efficient. I carve out time for self care (which for me is yoga 3 times a week) or I will lose my mind.
9. What is the best aspect of having your own business?
Hearing testimonials from customers about how Sweet’s has helped them is tremendously rewarding. So many customers are very skeptical of natural remedies and I LOVE when my syrup works for them and opens their eyes to the healing powers of food and Mother Nature!
10. What is the hardest part about owning your own business?
Balancing my time and staying organized – working hard at this and it’s a struggle!
11. What are some long-term or future goals you have for your business?
My long term goals are always evolving and I really don’t have a set list of benchmarks I want to accomplish – ultimately my goal is whatever growth I can achieve while still keeping my family 1st priority!
12. What do you do when you’re not being supermom?
I love to travel, especially to places I have never been to before – planning is half the fun for me! I enjoy working on home improvement projects, gardening, going to antique shops/flea markets and I adore farmers markets.
13. What famous person would you love to have dinner with, and why?
That would be Bradley Cooper in character as Jackson Maine, rancher accent and all (my husband would be totally cool with it).
14. What are the best resources that you’ve found as a small business owner and mom? (podcasts, online or local resources, people, great vendors, etc)
I’m always asking questions to my Facebook groups Pink Social Girl Tribe, M2M and Micit. I also pick the brains of fellow business owners all the time. My business consultant, Tim Ledwein, is helping me reach some big goals and stay on track. He connected me with CPA Steve Stell and my lawyers at Milazzo Webb – recommend them all! I adore my photographer Lydia Bittner-Baird and am pumped to work with my talented friend Whitney Adkins Hamlin on an upcoming project.
15. What is one piece of advice that you can give to a mom starting a business?
Don’t forget to take care of yourself – as a mom you can’t pour from an empty glass. When I first started my business my daughter was 3 and son was 1 – all my “free time” went to Sweet’s Syrup and I completely cut out any self care. I was a mess and adrenal fatigue hit me hard. I’ve been working hard to heal, maintain reasonable stress levels and incorporate self care back into my daily routine. Self care is SO IMPORTANT – take time to relax and restore so you can have the sanity to balance it all! Also, I’m very careful with what I put my time and energy into, which turns into saying “no” a bunch. My time has a very high value and I always consider the opportunity cost – Time taken away from my family needs to be really worth while. I delegate as many tasks as I can!
Be sure to give Stephanie a follow to stay healthy this winter season!